Workhorse Group Inc (http://workhorse.com/newsroom/2018/05/workhorse-horsefly-autonomous-drone-package-delivery-pilot-underway-cincinnati) reports that its HorseFly truck-launched Autonomous Drone Package Delivery System is now making package deliveries to homes in the Cincinnati area in a pilot programme with the City of Loveland and the Federal Aviation Administration. Consumers in select Cincinnati zip codes opted-in to accept packages from Horsefly via the Workhorse Ares Drone Package Delivery App, which is designed to seamlessly integrate with existing online e-commerce platforms.
Each package is delivered within the delivery driver’s line of sight, says the company. “Data from the pilot will provide essential insights into consumer preferences, as well as real-world evidence to support expanded use cases with the FAA. To date, the system has been successfully tested with UPS and an undisclosed large retailer, and aims to provide significant cost savings by eliminating extra miles of driving to deliver packages.”
“We feel this is a game-changing moment to innovate the way packages are delivered for many years to come,” said Steve Burns, Workhorse CEO. “By not only reducing the expense of last mile delivery, but also providing the consumer with the ability to opt-in, visualize, and confirm their package delivery on their property, we have re-imagined home delivery.”
The HorseFly UAV Delivery System is a custom-built delivery UAV that is fully integrated with the Workhorse line of electric delivery trucks, reports the company. The HorseFly system is designed to work with drivers to increase their efficiency and significantly lower the expense of last mile delivery. The truck launched drone system is designed to assist a driver as follows:
“The truck delivery driver loads the package and launches the HorseFly drone The HorseFly drone autonomously launches from the roof of the delivery truck, gains altitude and proceeds to the delivery location, monitoring by a centralized Horsefly control center. The consumer can also monitor the progress of their package delivery through their downloaded app. At the delivery location, which the consumer can choose on the app by touching the point on a map, the drone autonomously descends and the package is released. The consumer can opt-in to receive a photograph and confirmation of their delivery. The HorseFly drone returns to the delivery truck at a planned stop and autonomously redocks and recharges for its next delivery.”